I (Vicki Skinner - aka "THE Sarong Goddess") created this blog in 2007 to share DETAILED Finds•Lists•Info•Events•Experiences to help bring more EASE to people living in, visiting or thinking of moving to Costa Rica since DETAILS are NOT easy to find!
I’m NOT an expert (an "expert" 2 ME knows 101%-NOT me). I believe in sharin info•helping where I can! And with over 2,200 entries, so some things might be out of date, so if you find old info PLEASE help each other by getting the updated info & sharing it with me to revise. At least you have some basic info to get you started.
Better yet - do you have extra time on your hands & looking for a volunteer project? Since this blog is a labor of love & RARELY does anyone share a donation (even though MANY have said how much it's helped them), I could REALLY use help updating info. Spanish speakers ESPECIALLY welcome since my VicLish can be somewhat limited at times!!

Has my blog helped in any way? Helped find something•brought more EASE? More exposure or business?
I welcome you to show YOUR appreciation for my efforts!
(see below other ways to show your appreciation)
The easiest way is with PAYPAL - Attn: LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com
(you do NOT need to have a PayPal account to do this - just a credit or debit card)
Do YOU have/know of a Business•Event•News•Place•Things 4 Sale•Rent to add? Email:


• APPLE LAPTOP - Do you have a Laptop you're not using? Mine recently broke so I'm using a lender. Must be new enough to run current Skypes & have an SDCard slot.
• Amazon.com or GoDaddy.com Credit•Gift Certificate (attn: SarongGoddess@gmail.com)
• Something else to share?? A gift certificate or invite for your business? I'm open!! (at times I'll add other things here that I'm seeking)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tips to Extend the Lifespan of your Appliances in Costa Rica

If you're living in Costa Rica you've probably experienced electrical things don't seem to last as long as they "say" or you'd think they would si?   I feel part of it could be a combo of reasons - #1 being VERY few buildings in Costa Rica are grounded, plus have you ever sat there and watched you ceiling lights?  Notice anything??  MANY places I've been they flicker/dim a bit on and off.  This is often caused by old or faulty wiring (which can cost you a LOT of wasted $$$/¢¢¢ each month [case in point my old place where I even replaced ALL the lightbulbs in a 6,000 square foot/6 bedroom home with those new dangerous ones, plus I bought a new Energy Conscious Fridge and I put a timer on my HUGE hot water tank plus I asked guests to give me 1 hour notice before they wanted to take a shower - all #1 so I could show my love for Mother Nature - and save a few dollars - which it barely made a dent - well, the bill after turning the hot water tank off went down $50/month!!]) - or just the inconsistent flow of electricity in Costa Rica.

Some people (myself included) feel "they" might send inferior products to Costa Rica (why you might ask?  How many Tico's have you noticed to raise hell when something doesn't work [like you do with many Americans].  I REALLY "Got" this when I was helping some American's look for appliances and I couldn't find ANY of the model numbers they were asking for.  With LOTS of research, I find most of the models in Costa Rica were the same - just a different number.  With more research I found MANY of the products here had less than positive reviews.  Hmmmm - 1+1=__????).

I'm sharing the hints in this article in hopes of helping YOUR appliances last longer!!!

Looking to buy some appliances?  Thinking about buying something new?

SERIOUSLY consider this point - what appliance, car, lightbulb - heck - any merchandise - have you found these days that is built as well as those from ages ago??  REALLY consider buying something used - even older (even if it's not so pretty) - especially if it has a good history of being more solidly built!!!

Just a couple hints for now on the best places I've found for finding used items (which are EASY to find these days since people seem to be leaving in droves [hence people may be quite workable so don't be afraid to ask them for something lower]) but don't limit to seeing what others are offering - create your OWN ad ASKING for what you're seeking (and the MORE details YOU can give [especially where you're located or willing to go to get it] - the less wasted time you'll get):
Craig's List - CostaRica.en.craigslist.org
CRL Message Board - groups.yahoo.com/group/CostaRicaLiving


Easy Tips to Extend Lifespan of Your Home Appliances
SOURCE:  Stylelist.com/steve-ash/extend-home-appliance-lifespan_b_1910445.html

Whether you bought your home appliance at a local outlet or a big-box retailer, chances are you purchased it with the intent it would last a long time. But just as cars need the occasional oil change and tune up to extend their mileage, your home appliances need some added attention now and again too. Well-maintained appliances use less energy, require fewer repairs, and last longer. And all of these benefits add up to more savings in your pocket. My experience in the appliance industry has taught me you can't stop time, but there are a few things you can do to extend the lifespan of your appliances and keep them running well beyond their warranties.

extend home appliance lifespan Photo by Flickr user David Locke

Below I've outlined my tips to extend the lifespan of the most commonly used home appliances:

The refrigerator's gaskets (the plastic strip that forms a seal between the fridge and doors) help keep cool air inside the fridge, conserving energy. To help the gaskets stay elastic and form a better seal, periodically wipe them clean, removing all residue and coat them with a thin film of Vaseline. 
(My FABULOUS Appliance Repair person Melvin Valverde saved me a year before I HAD to buy a new fridge with the above Vaseline trick!!)

Dirty or dusty refrigerator coils can restrict airflow through the appliance, causing it to overheat and potentially break down. Remove your fridge's kick plate (the front panel near the floor) or reach around the back of the fridge and clean the coils with a handheld vacuum.

Like the refrigerator, a faulty gasket can prevent your dishwasher from operating correctly and efficiently. Dirt, cracks, or other buildup on the gasket can cause your dishwasher to leak. I recommend regularly cleaning it with soap and water to keep a watertight seal.

When loading your dishwasher, be careful to not damage the racks. The racks are typically coated with a vinyl material that can be damaged from rough use. Dishwasher racks are typically very expensive and often rival the cost of a new appliance, so keeping them in good shape can prevent another unwanted bill.

The #1 useful tip for your washing machine is ... Don't overload the washing machine! Yes, it really can be that simple. Clothes need to be able to move freely during a wash cycle. If the machine is jammed full of clothes, it will need more energy to move them around. This means added strain on the washer's motor, transmission, belts, and other parts.

That being said, it's also very important to not under-load the machine. Small loads can lead to off-balance cycles, which put a strain on the drive components. Plus, small loads waste water and energy, since there is very little difference in the amount of energy and water used for a full load and small load.

Like the washing machine, it's important to not overload the clothes dryer. A large load places increased strain on the appliance as it struggles to effectively dry the clothing. Also be aware of your dry time. 35 minutes is typically plenty of time to dry your clothes (in a well functioning dryer), compared to the 60 minutes dryers are usually set for. Reducing dry time saves energy and decreases the strain put on your dryer, as well as your clothes. If your dryer has an auto-dry setting, use it. Auto-dry heats only as much air as necessary and will reduce energy use.

It's also important to regularly monitor the dryer's external vent cap -- located outside your home -- for a buildup of lint and dust. Debris prevents the cap from operating normally and reduces airflow, potentially causing premature failure of the motor and thermostats. Plus, it's a potential fire hazard.

(Marvin suggests cleaning out the drum++ [taking it apart and all] at least once a year - ESPECIALLY on older machines.  I know mine made a BIG difference in the performance when I did this!)

Finally, for all major appliances, it's advisable to fix minor problems before they become a bigger issue and affect other components. Unusual leaks and noises should be investigated as they occur to help minimize the cost of maintaining your appliances and prolong their lifespan.

Need an APPLIANCE REPAIR person in Costa Rica? 
Check out this site - and tell them Vicki from the blog/website sent you!!!




1 comment:

Tom Greg said...

Have heard pros and cons,as to whether hot,warm or cold water is recommended for laundry .Know people who use cold water in every tub,regardless if it's whites,or darks . Have there ever been any tests to determin the results of one ,or the other ? I know it makes a difference in a dishwasher ,and I use Cascade exclusivelly .Any other products just as effective ?